After four years of aggressive port rebuilding efforts, Chiquita has officially returned to its pre-Katrina location. The M/V Eurus Lisbon marked this occasion by docking at berth 1 on the West Pier.
Due to the extensive damage to infrastructure caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Chiquita had to relocate vessel operations to various berths on port property. Since the storm, the port has rebuilt several critical pieces of infrastructure and is now offering stronger and better built berthing for Chiquita’s operations. Currently, nearly 1,300 linear feet of wharf and dock space have been replaced and an additional 900 linear feet are in various stages of reconstruction. By summer 2010 the port will have rebuilt three berths with a total investment of over $51 million.
“We want to make sure our tenants have the facilities they need to sustain and grow their operations; the reconstruction of berths 1, 2 and 3 shows our commitment to current tenants and potential clients,” said John K. Rester, MSPA President of the Board of Commissioners.
The restored berthing facilities will enhance the port’s competitive position in the US Gulf. “This is a major milestone in the reconstruction process at the Port of Gulfport,” said Don Allee, Executive Director and CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority referring to the rebuilding of the berths.